Search

Founder of St Francis Hospice dies at age 94

14:00 01 May 2013

Joan Matthew

Joan Matthew

Archant

Tributes have been paid to one of the founders of St Francis Hospice following her death at the age of 94.

Joan Matthews died at her beloved hospice in Havering-atte-Bower on Monday last week.

She had been unwell in Southend Hospital since February and was transferred to Saint Francis Hospice’s inpatient unit so that she could end her life in the place she had done so much to nurture.

Joan first saw the need for better provision of care for those with a terminal illness through her work at Havering Community Health Council in the 1970s.

Having identified the need for a hospice in the area she was one of the foremost enthusiasts in raising public awareness of this need. She was also instrumental in establishing the fundraising groups across Havering and surrounding areas to generate cash needed for its development.

Joan recalled a meeting in 1977: “Peter Smith and I had a meeting at Dr Dorothy Rule’s flat in Hornchurch to talk about registering as a charity so that we could start fundraising.

“When we finished the meeting we dipped into our purses and each put a £5 note on the table. It was significant because those were the first actual funds collected.”

A total of £350,000 was raised for building work to begin in 1982.

Over the years Joan worked tirelessly to see Saint Francis Hospice grow into one of the largest hospices in the UK.

Today every year more than 3,000 people from the boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Brentwood receive care and support from the hospice.

Voluntary services manager Gill Wendelken, who has worked at the hospice since 1984, remembers what an inspirational person Joan was.

“She captivated everyone she spoke to about the hospice, whether it was to a group or an individual, because of her determination to share the value of palliative care with us all,” Gill said.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:11
Gallows Corner junction, flyover and roundabout in Romford

A plea has been made for traffic lights to be included in planned improvements to accident blackspot Gallows Corner.

Yesterday, 15:22
Junior Doctors on Stike outside Queen's Hospital in Romford. Lizzie Hobbs, Elaine Yip and Katherine Elliott

Junior doctors working in the borough will be forced to accept a new contract without agreement or further negotiation, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

Yesterday, 12:41
Planning permission has been delayed for The Concordia Academy, which REAch2 hopes to open by September.       Credit: Blue Sky Architects

New plans to build Romford’s first free school are being reconsidered next week after planning permission for its new building was delayed last month because of lack of parking.

Yesterday, 09:59
Residents protesting against the plans in 2014

Controversial plans for a multi-faith cemetery next to a golf course have been resurrected – a year after an identical application was rejected.

Yesterday, 09:39
MP Andrew Rosindell opening the new day centre Beverley Bungalow in Havering-atte-Bower

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell led a debate in the chamber of the House of Commons last night to raise awareness of Autism Sunday.

Yesterday, 07:00
Anila Dhami, 24, from Rainham, is one of 10 Women's Equality Party candidates standing in the GLA elections in May

A TV presenter, keen dancer and GLA candidate for the Women’s Equality Party, Anila Dhami wants to bring confidence to women in Havering.

Wed, 15:50
A car overturned on the A13 this morning (Pic: @LAS_Newham/Twitter)

Two people received medical treatment after a car overturned on the A13 in the early hours of this morning.

Wed, 14:39
Printing dispute

In a world obsessed with 24 hour news, it is difficult to imagine newsagent shelves devoid of local papers.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe